[dish-waw-ter, -wot-er]


water in which dishes are, or have been, washed.


    dull as dishwater/ditchwater, extremely dull; boring.

Origin of dishwater

First recorded in 1475–85; dish + water Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for dishwater

Historical Examples of dishwater

  • If you spill any of the dishwater on the floor, it flattens out.

    Common Science

    Carleton W. Washburne

  • And as if this was not enough, she threatened to throw the dishwater on me.

    The Goose Man

    Jacob Wassermann

  • Here I go off and have an adventure and she has to slop around in dishwater.

  • As to the spoons, they get thrown away with the dishwater and sometimes into the fire.

  • He'd better pay his board bill today or she'd throw him out like dishwater.

    Plowing On Sunday

    Sterling North

British Dictionary definitions for dishwater



water in which dishes and kitchen utensils are or have been washed
something resembling thisthat was dishwater, not coffee
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for dishwater

also dish-water, "water where dishes have been washed," late 15c., from dish (n.) + water (n.). Used figuratively of weak broth, coffee, etc., from 1719.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with dishwater


see dull as dishwater.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.